Egyptian constitution draft approved: Muslim Brotherhood

Cairo: Islamist Muslim Brotherhood allied to Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi today claimed that the country's new controversial constitution has been approved by the majority of voters in the two-round referendum.

An official of the Brotherhood's political wing Freedom and Justice Party today said more than 71 per cent of the voters cast a "yes" ballot for the charter yesterday.

"According to our calculations, the final result of the second round is 71 per cent voting 'yes' and the overall result (of the two rounds) is 63.8 per cent," he said.

The final results of the referendum are expected to be announced early next week.

The draft constitution has caused serious divisions in Egypt as it was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly from which representatives of the church and liberals withdrew.

The second and final round of voting took place yesterday in 17 governorates which hold half of Egypt's electorate amid allegations of irregularities.

Ten governorates voted during the first phase last weekend, after which initial results showed a turnout of about 31 per cent and a prevalence of votes in favour of the draft by about 57 per cent.